1003 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Tickets for the originally scheduled 5/15/13 Darkness show will be honored. Refunds available at point of purchase.
Justin Hawkins grew up in the Suffolk town of Lowestoft, at a young age he locked himself away and learnt guitar. He was pretty good, but his kid brother Dan was even better ("I'm white hot," says Justin, "but he's shit hot."). Spotting their own potential they started a covers band with Dan on lead vocals.
In 1997, Justin departed to University in Huddersfield. Dan, meanwhile, moved to London in search of a band to join. That's when he met Frankie Poullain, an exiled Scot who came from a family of adventurers (he claims his dad was a pirate in the West Indies, his brother a soldier of fortune).
They shared a flat in Shepherd's Bush, where itinerant musos would pass through and jam. Justin, and Dan's schoolfriend Ed Graham, a drummer, would visit on weekends. The two brothers and Frankie formed an ill-fated prog rock band called Empire. Under Justin's guidance, they increased the heaviness of the sound, and threw out the lead singer. The brothers Hawkins had a talk. Was it worth carrying on? The answer came on Millennium Eve, when the pair went back to Norfolk to their Aunty's pub.
Justin entered a karaoke competition and performed "Bohemian Rhapsody", acting out every line and doing spectacular star jumps. Dan beheld his big bro's flamboyant star quality, and saw the future: "I know, YOU be the front man! The first call they made was to Frankie, who left Venezuela to rejoin them. The second call they made was to Ed, who left his band to rejoin them. The Darkness was born
"If Sparks, The Bangles and Blue Oyster Cult made a smoothie, it might
smell something like Sweatheart" – Naeem Juwan (Spankrock)
Philadelphia based band Sweatheart has created an exciting new show
and sound. Now they are excited to take it on the road.
Through six years of working with an army of talented musician
friends, performers, film makers, visual artists and DJ's, Sweatheart
has evolved. A live show that was once art gallery madness in french
fry costumes is now more refined. Thoughtful backing tracks and dance
routines have replaced off key screaming and humping the audience
(sometimes they still hump the audience). Sweatheart is inspired by
the spirit of 80's rockers like Eddie Money, Pat Benatar and The
Outfield, and influenced by the punk and indie rock ideas they all
grew up with.
Sweatheart formed in 2004 with original members (Hot) Tanya
Nagahawhatta, Rose Luardo and Thom Lessner. When Nagahawhatta left for
medical school, close friend and fellow musician Amanda Blank
(Downtown Records) joined the band. Soon after, Dave Pap became
Sweatheart's drummer. Lessner, Luardo, Pap, and Blank form the
cornerstones of Sweatheart, and they welcome collaborators including
Michael Robinson (King God/ Holland Boys), Brian Langon (Kock107/
Sw!ms) and Trevor Williams (Barry & the Eastenders).
Last year Amanda Blank released her own album (I Love You), and toured
worldwide supporting the album. Rose Luardo did a brief stint as
Santigold's hypewoman and began her performance work with The New
Dreamz – the duo of artist Andrew Jeffrey Wright and Luardo. Thom
Lessner is a working fine artist and maintains an art studio at Space
1026 collaborative gallery. He simultaneously leads Sweatheart while
he creates art work for gallery shows as well as companies like OBEY
and Blue Q. Dave Pap works closely with Lessner to create the
Sweatheart sound and serves as handler for the rest of the band.
As stage performers, Sweatheart members are versatile and seasoned.
While Blank maintains sex appeal and has cut her teeth touring as both
a solo artist and with bands like Sweatheart and Spankrock, Rose
Luardo adds a performance art element. Luardo has many years of
experience as a theatrical performer and dancer. She is a recent
graduate of Bryn Mawr's Performance Program and has done comedy
routines for The Next Art Festival in Chicago and The 30 Days Festival
in NYC with The New Dreamz.
If the women of Sweatheart are performers, the men are musicians.
Lessner and Pap have been working with music their entire lives.
Lessner played guitar in numerous Columbus bands since Jr. high school
and later played everywhere from Philadelphia to Tokyo with artist
Clare Rojas/Peggy Honeywell (Glaxia) as her entire backing band "The
Dew". Pap has been in several bands and is a former student and
teacher at the Paul Green School of Rock Music.
A Sweatheart performance is fun and alive. It's a bold show with no
pretension, no sleepers, some guitar solos, many high-kicks and
finely-crafted, inspiring songs. At a Sweatheart show you'll see girls
popping out of boxes and eerie, human-like robots. Band members
costumed in matching outfits bring the audience in with stylized
movements and off-the-wall banter. You'll also find an interesting
collection of hand-made merchandise.
What you will walk away with after seeing a Sweatheart show is the
honesty of their feel-good stage performance and music. They believe
wholeheartedly in what they're selling — this isn't an irony show.
This is a pop-rock show. And pop-rock is what they love.